Industrial-Sized Deals TextBTS15 Shop Men's Hightops Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon David Ramirez $5 Off Fire TV Stick Shop Popular Services hog hog hog  Amazon Echo Starting at $99 Kindle Voyage Nintendo Digital Games Shop Back to School with Amazon Back to School with Amazon Outdoor Recreation Deal of the Day
Qty:1
  • List Price: $15.95
  • Save: $3.19 (20%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 16 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Lectures on Don Quixote has been added to your Cart
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Item in good condition. Textbooks may not include supplemental items i.e. CDs, access codes etc... All Day Low Prices!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Lectures on Don Quixote Paperback – April 18, 1984

8 customer reviews

See all 8 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$12.76
$10.67 $5.70

Best Books of the Year So Far
Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
$12.76 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 16 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Lectures on Don Quixote + Lectures on Literature + Lectures on Russian Literature
Price for all three: $37.61

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

Review

Quite the least interesting, most dutiful of Nabokov's collegiate lectures on literature, these talks on Don Quixote were given at Harvard, 1951-52. Again, Nabokov applies principles of categorization to the text at hand: dimensions, numbering, topographies, maps. And he offers some (but not much) general discussion of the book's enduring genius. "What we shall witness now is the evolution of the epic form, the shedding of its metrical skin, the hoofing of its feet, a sudden fertile cross between the winged monster of the epic and the specialized prose form of entertaining narration, more or less a domesticated mammal, if I may pursue the metaphor to its lame end;" Nabokov sees Don Quixote as a logical continuation of earlier chivalric romances, "with the elements of madness and shame and mystification increased." The book, he finds, is one of those "perhaps more important in eccentric diffusion than in their intrinsic value." Clearly not one of Nabokov's favorite books, he sees it as neither humane nor humorous: a whole section of the lectures is given over to literally scoring (as in tennis) the Don's cruel humiliations. And Cervantes' comedy receives little praise: "Dulcinea shall be restored to Don Quixote if - now comes the rib-splitting joke - if Sancho consents to take 3000 lashes on his bare behind. Otherwise, says the Duke when he hears of the requirement, you do not get your island. The whole thing is very medieval, coarse, and stupid fun, as all fun that comes from the devil. Authentic humor comes from the angels." True, Nabokov is sometimes entertaining when he kibbitzes, one novelist to another, taking Cervantes to task for not having done a scene better; he does admire the hapless Don himself. ("He stands for everything that is gentle, forlorn, pure, unselfish, and gallant. The parody has become a paragon.") But the bon mots here are scarce, and the book is little more than an acerbic, uninvolved study-guide - for Nabokov fanatics only. (Kirkus Reviews)

About the Author

Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977), Russian-born poet, novelist, literary critic, translator, and essayist was awarded the National Medal for Literature for his life's work in 1973. He taught literature at Wellesley, Stanford, Cornell, and Harvard. He is the author of many works including Lolita, Pale Fire, Ada, and Speak, Memory.

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (April 18, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156495406
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156495400
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #932,544 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 38 people found the following review helpful By J. Robinson on April 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
I bought and read Nabokov's "Lectures on Literature" which is based on his European literature course that he taught at Cornell in the 1950s. That is an excellent guide to seven well known novels: "Mansfield Park, Bleak House, Madame Bovary, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Walk by Swann's Place, The Metamorphosis, and Ulysses." In that set of course notes he dissects each book and spends about 40 pages or so on each novel discussing style, structure, etc. He spends more time on Ulysses and less on Kafka's "The Metamorphosis."

The present book is a bit different. He prepared only six lectures that he gave in the spring of 1952 at Harvard for the course Humanities 2. The aim is to describe and give an overall context for the work "Don Quixote." The notes still exist in six manilla folders and they are the basis of the present book edited by Fredson Bowers.

The course starts with a very brief introduction in the same style as the Cornell lectures with sketches of maps, etc. Next, he describes in detail the character of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. Those are the first two chapters, or about 24 pages. Then he describes the structure of the book for another 25 pages, again with copies of Nabokov's actual class notes.

Cruelty and mystification are covered in a similar but lengthy analysis, followed by The Chronicler's Theme, and Victory and Defeats. The second half of the book is a chapter by chapter summary of both volumes I and II. In total, it is just over 200 pages of notes.

As Guy Davenport states in his introduction, the book puts most other teachers to shame who attempt to teach Don Quixote in a week. It is refreshing and detailed, and as Nabokov points out, this is an analysis of a book that evokes cruel laughter.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Gene Zafrin on June 13, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"... one of the most bitter and barbarous books ever penned" said Nabokov about "Don Quixote". Exposing the flood of physical and emotional abuse inflicted on the half insane knight and his largely average squire is at the heart of these lectures. In the early 50's, when Nabokov delivered his lectures on "Don Quixote" at Harvard, this was a radically new take on the classic novel which most critics considered good-natured and almost pastoral. For Nabokov, however, this position was quite in line with his signature irreverent views. He has always been sensitive to human suffering and considered pity for human condition one of the main attributes of art (in his "Lectures on Literature", for example, he especially noted compassion for the lame girl in "Ulysses" and Gregor's quiet suffering as a beetle in "Metamorphosis").

Building up on the themes of cruelty and insanity, Nabokov points out that in 1600's both were enjoyed as entertainment. The raw cruelty of 3,000 lashes that Sancho is to receive, or Don Quixote's suspension by the hand for two hours during which he "bellows like a bull", or the sick pleasure that many of the book's characters derive from Don Quixote's insanity and from playing into it - all that was run of the mill fun in Cervantes's Europe. Nabokov believes that this crude entertainment was the main source of the book's appeal for the readers when the book came out.

The novel's structure (which in Nabokov's world is second only to style) is really nonexistent: "The book belongs essentially to a primitive form, to the loosely strung, higgledy-pickled, variegated picaresque type". Nabokov notes that the many inconsistencies in the book Cervantes seems to either ignore or simply attribute to magic.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
32 of 44 people found the following review helpful By David Lupton on May 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
Nabokov claims to dislike Don Quixote and considers the novel 'crewl' yet spent a significant portion of time analyzing the novel and teaching it. I am reminded of Tolstoy's dismissal of Shakespeare and his dissection of King Lear. Orwell correctly pointed out that, among these giants, bothering to grapple with another's legend so completely is a nod to greatness, one doesn't bother to kill a knat w/ a sledgehammer.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
52 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Fernando Melendez on August 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
What Nabokov does to that venerable Don Q. is to rip it apart, disembowel it, resect the viscera, muscle and bones, and demonstrate how it has all been fitted together, how its various part work and (more importantly) how and why some parts don't work at all.
I admit to having had a life-long aversion to Don Q., an aversion that is rooted in early efforts to make me read "children's versions" of the book by guise of educating me. I suspect that such dislike is widely shared by those who have dared attempt the original text, or even its modern translations. Those who love the story are likely to have limited their sampling to the musical version of the book: "Man of La Mancha."
And so it was truly a pleasure to follow Nabokov in his extraordinary feat of dissection. Nobody in nearly 400 years of Spanish critical appraisals of this awful book has ever come close to exposing the work as thoroughly and meticulously as Nabokov does in the six lectures that he gave at Harvard in 1952. Spanish critics of Cervantes are mainly hagiographers, incapable of noting the Emperor's nakedness. They are apt to compare Cervantes to Shakespeare (don't they wish!), a comparion which Nabokov insightfully reduces to this:
"The only matter in which Cervantes and Shakespeare are equals is the matter of influence, of spiritual irrigation -- I have in view the long shadow cast upon receptive posterity of a created image which may continue to live independently from the book itself. Shakespeare's plays, however, will continue to live apart from the shadow they project." By implication, Don Q. would not.
Nabokov even exposes the canard, much repeated in Spain, that Cervantes and Shakespeare died on the same day in 1616. They did not.
Read more ›
3 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Lectures on Don Quixote
This item: Lectures on Don Quixote
Price: $12.76
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: don quixote horse, don quixote samuel putnam